There are a lot of places to visit in the Philippines, and it can be hard to narrow down your choices. After all, you’ll be spending a considerable amount of time in this country.
One place you won’t want to miss is Banaue. This UNESCO world heritage site is a must for those who love rice terraces.
Batad is an Ifugao village that is home to some of the best and most well-preserved rice terraces in the Philippines. These are carved into the steep sides of the mountain and are over 2,200 years old.
The terraces are a UNESCO World Heritage Site and are a must-see for anyone visiting the Philippines. They are a true wonder of engineering and the village itself is a picture pin-up.
Getting to the village is a bit tricky as there is no road access. Luckily, there are a few families who offer modest accommodation inside the village. Once you’re in the village, you need to pay a PHP 50 environmental fee.
The Philippines’ earliest historic district, Intramuros (literally, “within the walls”) is a must-visit destination for locals and tourists. This historical site boasts centuries-old structures, making it the perfect place to go back in time and absorb the rich culture of the country.
Intramuros’s main draw lies in its impressively preserved city walls, which cover about 3 miles (5 kilometers) of the city’s central area. Originally built in the 16th century, this massive stone citadel is home to some of Manila’s most iconic landmarks.
The Manila Cathedral, founded in 1571, is one of the most recognizable structures inside Intramuros. It is a major tourist attraction and a popular wedding venue. Despite its age, it has undergone numerous renovations and reconstructions.
Located in the Calamian Islands near Coron, Philippines, Sangat Island is the perfect destination for eco-conscious divers and those seeking a quiet tropical paradise. This pristine island boasts three white sand beaches surrounded by towering limestone cliffs and dense jungles.
Guests can stay in one of 23 traditionally-styled accommodation options, all with power outlets, mosquito-net windows and ensuite bathrooms. They also have the option of dining at a buffet-style restaurant that serves fresh, global fusion cuisines.
Located on Luzon Island, Taal Volcano is one of the country’s most accessible attractions and a popular day-trip destination for locals and foreigners alike. You can take a boat to Volcano Island or hike up to the volcano’s crater, but both options require a little planning to avoid the crowds.
During the dry season, November to April, tourists can trek uphill through black lava to reach the rim of the crater for views across Taal Lake. The hike is strenuous but rewarding, especially when you get to the top.
The crater is also home to a fish species, the tawilis. Unfortunately, overfishing has led to this species being listed as endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.
A sleepy town, Bulusan is home to verdant woodlands, soaring mountains, placid lakes and refreshing hot and cold springs. You can also take a stroll in its picturesque beaches and visit the majestic Bulusan volcano.
You can visit the mighty Mount Bulusan to catch a glimpse of its steam-driven eruptions or rent a kayak to explore the emerald green lake at the foot of the volcano. It’s one of the main attractions in this part of Sorsogon province.
The park is a refuge for several species of plants and birds, some of which are endemic to the area. These include the Spotted Wood Kingfisher, Luzon Hornbill, South Luzon Cloud Rat, Philippine Warty Pig, and Philippine Fairy Bluebird.
The park is a prime example of how cooperation between the local towns and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) are working to preserve the natural habitats in this part of the country. Extensive kaingin, fuelwood gathering and uncontrolled hunting has affected the biodiversity of the park, but the efforts made by the locals to protect and preserve the park have helped restore the natural beauty of the place.